Engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has announced that Indian state Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani flagged off the 91st K9 VAJRA-T Gun.

The gun was flagged off from L&T’s armoured system complex at Hazira in the state.

The 91st Gun, which is part of India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) programme, was dispatched ahead of schedule.

L&T Defence is currently producing K9 VAJRA-T 155mm/52 calibre tracked, self-propelled howitzer weapon systems as part of the Rs45bn ($701.2m) contract.

In May 2017, India’s Ministry of Defence contracted L&T to deliver the South Korean-made artillery guns for the Indian Army.

L&T Defence & Smart Technologies senior executive vice-president JD Patil said: “The production of armoured platforms like the K9 VAJRA contributes to the Indian economy with a large multiplier effect, create new job opportunities and play a significant role in building India’s Defence Industrial Base.

“With the experience, track record, skills, capabilities and infrastructure that L&T has built at the Armoured Systems Complex in the state of Gujarat, we are ready to develop, qualify and build India’s future armoured platforms for our armed forces.

“The Complex, set up under the Gujarat State’s Aerospace & Defence policy to produce Armoured Systems, is a flagship Defence Production Unit under the progressive policies of the State.”

According to L&T, the ‘K9 VAJRA-T’ systems are being delivered with over 80% local work packages and more than 50% localisation in terms of value at the programme level.

The programme involves local production of more than 13,000 types of components per gun system.

In November 2018, the Indian Army received the formal delivery of the 155mm 52-calibre tracked self-propelled K9 Vajra artillery gun system and M777 ultra-light howitzer weapon systems for a total value of approximately Rs94bn ($1.31bn).